RIO DE JANEIRO, 03 NOVEMBER 2015 (INSIDETHEGAMES) --- Brasilia’s deepening economic crisis could see the city stripped of the football matches it is due to host during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Brazil’s capital is scheduled to stage seven games at the state-of-the-art Mane Garrincha Stadium, which hosted the same number during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, including the third-place play-off between the home nation and The Netherlands.
But it has been flagging under the huge outlay on the venue, which cost US$926 million to build, far more than the original projection of US$349 million.
The Rio 2016 Organising Committee has given the city until the middle of this month to sign a contract or face losing the matches.
"We are doing our homework now to see if we can sign this in time, but it's not certain," Brasilia's sports secretary, Leila Barros, told Reuters.
It’s unclear how ticket holders for matches in Brasilia would be reimbursed if the matches have to be moved elsewhere.
The 70,000-seat stadium is Brazil's second-largest but is hardly used with Brasilia struggling to cover its annual cost of US$2.48 million.
Brasilia is contracted to bear the costs of hosting the matches during Rio 2016, but the profits will go to the Organising Committee.
Officials have not provided an estimate on what hosting the seven matches, four of which are men’s and the other three women’s, might cost.
The Mane Garrincha Stadium has been built in a city that doesn't have a top-flight club, and has hosted less than a dozen professional games in 2015.
Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Manaus and Salvador are the other host cities for the Olympic football tournament, making use of venues built for last year's World Cup.... PACNEWS